Stumbling Into Truth: Gillian Welch's "Revelator"



Folk songs not only tell good stories, but they can teach us eternal truths just as well as any Pastor, Rabbi, Imam, Holy Book, or street side pamphlet can. In her song "Revelator", Gillian Welch artfully displays her wisdom, asserting that time itself is the judge of the strength of human relationships. I've never heard it put that way before. When you listen to the song, human instinct will tell you right away that she's right. Time does tell all tales.

In other songs, you may of heard that John is the revelator, but I disagree. He might of wrote the book of the seven seals but the dramatic and apocalyptic stories he weaved together did not come and flat out state the gospel truth like Gillian Welch does here.

In "Revelator", Welch's voice is clean, direct, and more beautiful than ever. You can hear her fight through those California waves with ease. Sideman David Rawlings paints some dramatics with his lead guitar on the edges of the song. Every lead note Rawlings plays here serves the song faithfully. His playing doesn't get in the way at all, instead, it moves the action and frames Welch's words as wisdom. Listen below:



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